Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A visit to a magical distillery in France

video
The essential distillery, Verdon Roses et Aromes is about 4,000 feet up on a peaceful mountain top in a tiny little hamlet called Les Chauvets.

The drive up from base village, la Palud sur Verdon was a white-knuckle ride. A one-lane, winding road (no guard rail or shoulder) with views so intense we were just about sick to our stomachs.

Once you arrive at Verdon Roses et Aromes, all you sense is clean air, crickets, stillness and dry, hot sun.

The distillery is run by just two very hard-working and endearing souls: Evelyne and Jacky.
Jacky and Evelyne distill Lavender, Carrot Seed, Mountain Savory, Thyme ct linalol and Peppermint as well as create herbal oils: Calendula, Yarrow, St. John's Wort, Chamomile and Rose - all with Agriculture Bio standard (Certifed Organic)!

We arrived just in time to see them filling the still with lavender, which they had hand harvested with sickles. It is amazing to see all of the plant material that is filled in the still and yet what little essential oil is yielded - not even a quart (as you'll see in the video).

If you are ever in France and in their neighborhood, ring them before you go - and don't forget your ginger essential oil for the drive!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Support Your Local Farmer - and Organica Jane

Starting this Friday, June 5 (and every Friday), I will be selling essential-oil based products at the Clifton Springs Farmers Market in Clifton Springs, NY, home of the famous sulphur springs.

  • Face and Body Butter: a gentle, healing blend of butters and local beeswax for dry, cracked, wrinkled skin, age and liver spots, too. this product does not clog pores.

  • Essential BugOff Spray: this all-natural spray is Essential for any avid camper, hiker or for canoeing or fishing. It works great on black flies and mosquitoes. It does not contain the toxic chemical DEET.

  • Thieves Household Cleaner: blend of clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary - replaces every cleaner in your home, even kills black mold!
This Friday kicks off the Sulphur Springs Festival in Clifton Springs so there will be more to see, do and celebrate!

Please come by, visit and support Organica Jane and your local farmer. If Clifton Springs is not an easy drive, check out Local Harvest to find a market near you.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spa Nights - Beauty without Botox

"Let's do this again!", "I LOVE my blend!", "My skin has never been this soft", "My hands are so smooth", were some of the comments made this past weekend.

This weekend, I hosted two in-home Mini Spa nights.

Saturday, we kicked off the night with an essential oil blending exercise. We reviewed which essential oils were beneficial for Eczema, Psoriasis, Wrinkles, Scars, Anxiety and Stress. We learned which natural substances to use in skin care and which ingredients to avoid. Then each person chose their own carrier to mix and create their own therapeutic, essential oil product. The results were really amazing and everyone was happy with their blend!

Ladies paired up with their spa buddy to give and receive nourishing/exfoliating/purifying facial masks made from just plain yogurt, oat flour, cornmeal, clay - and their choice of an essential oil, maybe for wrinkles, scarred or dry skin.

Feet got exfoliated and soaked with sea salts, olive oil and essential oils.

Ladies were amazed at how soft and new their hands felt after treatments of olive oil and sea salt massaged in to their hands.

When many of the ladies arrived they were hesitant to have their hair pulled back and faces exposed to their friends without a stitch of make-up. But what was most of obvious was that their true beauty stood out when they we weren't made up at all, really.

Learn how you to enhance your true beauty without Botox, relax and have fun, schedule a Spa Night today!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Aromatherapy Level II Update

I just returned from sunny Sarasota where I studied Level II Aromatherapy.

During this first session of five days, we reviewed essential oil chemical families, their molecular structures and also studied the individual essential oil components in detail. It is amazing to see and re-learn their extremely healing properties!

Here is a list of some components found in essential oils and their therapeutic properties.

d-limonene: anti-tumoral, offers liver support, anti-oxidant, reduced need for anti-biotics during treatment of chronic bronchitis.

FOUND IN:
o Elemi
o Grapefruit
o Orange
o Palo Santo

b-caryophellene: anti-inflammatory and anti-tumoral, may reduce anxiety and cravings for cigarettes, also considered anti-histamine

FOUND IN:
o
Balsam Copaiba
o Black Pepper

a, b-Pinene: anti-spasmodic for the respiratory system, supports the immune system, anti-bacterial

FOUND IN:
o Cypress
o Juniper
o Myrtle

linalol: long-term immune support, highly anti-bacterial, reduces anxiety

FOUND IN:
o Coriander
o Lavender
o Neroli
o Rosewood

You can create your own Essential Oil blend using the essential oils above-mentioned.

For every ounce of carrier oil*, add 5 drops total of essential oil. Keep this blend out of reach of children and stored away from heat and light.

* Carrier Oils: jojoba, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wipe Out

Just recently, I was on an early morning power walk in my home town where the temperature was bitter cold and ice was every where you looked so I took extra care with my steps.

But on the home stretch I just missed patch of ice and wiped out. I hit so hard I couldn't tell if I broke anything or lost a finger. Everyone driving by noticed me (ugh) and stopped their cars, got out and came to my rescue. This was totally unexpected and very much appreciated.

On the way down, I pulled my a muscle in my back, sprained my forefinger and bruised my knee.

Ten years ago, I might have pulled out the ibuprofen and a couple muscle relaxants but since I converted my medicine cabinet my ibuprofen and muscle relaxants are in the form of Essential Oils!

Back at home, my friend massaged a blend of Lavender (helps inflammation, relax muscle), Frankincense (helps inflammation, calming to me), Lemongrass (reduces pain) and Helichrysum (reduces pain and brusing) on my back. I often use my Face and Body Butter as a carrier to mix the oils with.

I placed a few drops of Peppermint (reduces pain and inflammation) and Lavender on my finger to help with the pain and inflammation. I also kept a bag of frozen blueberries on it for 10 minutes each hour.

And I massaged a few drops of Lavender and Helichrysum on my knee to reduce the swelling and bruising.

Pure Essential Oils really do offer amazing relief and healing for pulled muscles, sprains and bumps. Give it a try next time you wipe out: try reaching for your Essential Oils instead of the Ibuprofen.

PS) Using Aspirin & Ibuprofen can Increase Your Breast Cancer Risk by 50%, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, June 1, 2005

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bonne Nuit Mes Amis










Have you given up on counting sheep to fall asleep? Do you toss, turn or wake up in the middle of the night with your head buzzing? Do you rise before the alarm? If you answered yes to any of these questions, give these easy, natural methods a try.

Write it Down
What might be keeping you up is your buzzing thoughts. So, designate a pad of paper or journal to keep by your bed to list your thoughts, to do's before you settle in or if you rise during the night.

Soak
If it's been forever since you've taken a bath, set time aside in the next week to do that for yourself. Making your own bath gel with calming and relaxing essential oils like Lavender and Roman Chamomile are sure to start you snoozin.

what you will need:

  • Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap (Baby Mild)

  • suggested Essential Oils: Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Tangerine

how to make it:

  1. In a 4 oz glass pump container, add just under 4 oz of Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap

  2. Then add 15 drops total of essential oils

  3. Replace the pump

  4. Shake well

  5. Add 2 - 4 pumps of your bath gel to a tub of warm water

  6. Light a candle

  7. Gently enter the tub, soak, relax

Sleeping and Love
Your bedroom is a bedroom, not an office or living room. I dare you: remove the TV, iPod's, laptops, BlackBerries, etc. While you're at it, move the alarm clock to across the room away from your head; your brain will thank you.

Tea
Chamomile tea has been used forever to calm the digestive system; it has the same affect on the nervous system. Purchase some organic Chamomile tea from your local health food store, brew a cup and sip slowly after your dinner meal.

Meditate
Nothing complicated: for 10 minutes, lie down on your back, on top of a warm blanket, focus on just your breath, inhaling for 3 counts and exhaling for 3 counts.

Misc.
During the day, replace caffeinated beverages with lots of purified water; reduce or avoid white sugar, too. Just say no to medications, foods, household cleaners, and personal care products with dyes.

Educate
If you are taking prescription medication, take the time out to read the complete package insert to your meds. It is quite possible that "insomnia" is listed as a side effect. This goes for over-the-counter medications, too.

Om
Yoga takes your mind off everything, improves circulation and immunity, helps you lose weight and makes you feel good. I always sleep better after yoga class; try a gentle or restorative yoga class once.

Essential Oil Spray
Create a spray that you can spritz over the top of your head (crown) and over your pillow before bedtime.

what you will need:

  • 2 oz glass spray bottle
  • Distilled water
  • suggested Essential Oils: Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Tangerine

how to make it:

  • In a 2 oz glass spray bottle, add just under 2 oz distilled water
  • Then add 10 drops total of essential oils
  • Replace the top
  • Shake well
  • Close eyes and spray over top of head and on pillows

If you have any natural tricks for good night's sleep, please share with us. Thank you,

Bonne nuit,
Amy

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Quaker's Best Oatmeal Cookies, Organica Jane's version

Ingredients:

2 sticks organic butter, softened (can use applesauce in place to make Vegan)

3/4 cup local, pure maple syrup

3 free-range, organic egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-1/2 cups all-purpose (blend of unbleached white / whole wheat / organic spelt / brown rice flour)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground clove

2 T ground flaxseed

3 cups organic quick oats

1 bag of carob or organic semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375°F

1. In large bowl, beat butter and syrup, add egg and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and clove; mix well. Add oats and chips; mix well.

2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake 10 – 12 minutes – or till golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Servings: ABOUT 3 DOZEN

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

All-Natural New Year!

1.  Look under your sink and discard all of your commercial household cleaners, e.g., Windex, AJAX, Mr Clean, Comet, Scrubbing Bubbles, Lysol, etc., and replace them with Thieves Household Cleaner from Young Living, Baking soda and White Distilled Vinegar. Research shows that the synthetic chemicals store themselves in our fat cells, which disrupt our metabolic process, keeping us from losing weight. Watch your overall health and weight improve!

2.  Replace pop, diet soda and coffee with spring or purified water.  Purchase a PUR filter if you don’t already have one.  Clinical Nutritionists recommend drinking ½ your body weight in ounces every day.  So, if you weigh 100 lbs., you would drink 50 ounces of water daily.  Add the juice of ½ organic lemon or lime. Lemon stimulates the liver and helps release digestive enzymes; it’s also alkalinizing.

3.  Switch to natural sweeteners - raw agave (low glycemic), honey or pure maple syrup to sweeten your tea today. Artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, Sweet n Low, Splenda are not natural to the human body and have been shown to cause weight gain and other health issues. Watch your overall health and weight improve!

10 Challenge yourself to no TV today. Paint, read, draw, play cards, do a craft instead.

11 Go dancing tonight! Here are the happenings in Rochester, NY: http://www.rochesterdance.com/

12 Purge your pantry: read the labels and discard any food products that list the words “HYDROGENATED or PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED”, these fats cause plaquing of the arteries.

13 Fill a plastic tub with warm water and 2 cups of Epsom salts, add your feet and soak for 15 minutes.

14 Whenever you get the munchies, snack on organic carrots and celery today.

15 Designate a few hand towels (save a tree) to wipe up messes around the kitchen.

16 Try a yoga class today (many studios offer a free first class). Find a class in your area: http://www.yogafinder.com/

17 Check out your local farmers' market this week. Find one in your area at http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/.

18 Before dinner, take the family out for a quick walk around the block.

19 Pack a picnic and take a hike somewhere you’ve never been. Find a trail near you at http://www.trails.com/

20 Grab the one you love and massage their feet for just 10 or 15 minutes. Add a few drops of Peppermint essential oil for sore feet or Lavender essential oil for the restless sleeper.

21 Eliminate major toxins in your personal care products: ditch anything that contains ALUM/ALUMINUM, FRAGRANCE, DEA, TEA, PHTHALATES, PARABENS, TRICLOSAN and COAL TAR. Watch your overall health and weight improve!

22 Designate your bedroom as a quiet haven for sleeping and love (no tv, laptops, electronics).

23 After dinner, turn up the kid’s favorite music and dance!

24 This morning, make a pot of organic oatmeal and add what you like (chopped walnuts/almonds, dates, ground flax, cinnamon, organic blueberries or apples, sliced banana - and a Teaspoon of agave).

25 Move your lymph nodes: Go Bowling!

26 Clean the air in your home: drop all perfumed candles, artificial sprays and plug ins in the toxic waste bin. I guarantee you will see a change in your overall health and weight when you remove these items!

27 Stock up on quality dark chocolate bars (70% cocoa preferred): store them in your desk drawer or refrigerator.

28 Blend a healthy shake with any organic fruit, yogurt and ground flax seed. This usually holds me over till lunch time.

29 Massage 1 – 3 drops of Tangerine essential oil on the bottom of each foot before going to sleep. Bonne nuit!

30 Incorporate colored (spinach, vegetable) or spelt pasta in your meal tonight.

31 Before showering, slough your body with a natural bristle brush. Sloughing will help circulation, reduce cellulite, remove dead skin cells and support lymph system.

AUGUST

1 Invest in a personal trainer to keep you motivated.

2 Movie night: cook an organic variety of popcorn with coconut oil on the stove and serve with
sea salt, much tastier than microwaving.

3 Replace fatty, processed salad dressings with a combination of any of the following: olive oil, agave/honey/maple syrup, fresh lemon juice, basil, Dijon mustard, Bragg’s apple cider vinegar.

4 Serve local, organic wine or beer at your next party.